Nothing makes a pup happier than special dog treats. These easy homemade dog treats have Tuck’s favorite ingredients: bacon, pumpkin, and peanut butter. Tuck gave these dog treats 4 paws up and asked for more.
Yesterday was Tuck’s birthday! I can hardly believe that he is already a year old. Tuck is an extra large breed dog, so the puppy phase for him should last until he is around 18 months old.
He weighed in today 87.8 lbs, so I’m hopeful that he doesn’t add too much more weight and focuses his attention on maturing. He does have his charms though. He is super cuddly, thinks he is a lap dog – yes, at nearly 90 lbs, and is everybody’s best friend. How can you resist that face?!
In celebration of his birthday, I’m sharing his favorite treats and making a double batch. These treats can be chewy or crunchy and loaded with the flavors of bacon, pumpkin, and peanut butter – a dog approved combination!
These treats come together using the biscuit method. Mix the wet together, mix the dry together then add them to each other. This dough comes out very thick and heavy, so I highly suggest using a stand mixer if you have one.
I do recommend using whole wheat flour, as it is better for a dog’s digestion system. Whole wheat flour is a grain, so if your dog is on a strict no wheat, no grain, or no gluten diet, do not feed them these treats.
The bacon pieces are mixed in with the flour, as the flour will stick to the fat and help keep the bacon suspended in the dough. If you add the bacon to the wet mixture the pieces will clump together and sink to the bottom. Trust me, I tried it. To make the wet to dry mixing easier, add the flour mixture about 1/3 at a time and scrape the sides after each addition.
To make the dough easier to work into batches, grab a knife and cut the dough ball in halves or quarters. You will notice that the inside will be slightly stickier, but that’s okay.
With a double batch, I know that 1/4 of the dough will fill one of my baking sheets. With a standard batch you should only need to cut it in half. Set aside all but one of the dough balls and work it into a ball, again adding more flour if it starts to stick.
Like most cookies, I like to use parchment paper lined baking sheets. The parchment is optional, but it allows you not to grease your baking sheet. If you choose not to use it, make sure you oil, spray, butter your pan prior to baking.
I choose not to use cookie cutters. If you do, you can easily take the leftover dough and rework it into more cookies. I prefer to use a knife and cut his treats into squares, rectangles, or triangles. This week, I chose triangles. If you are working on a surface that shouldn’t be cut into, make sure you don’t use a sharp knife and damage your countertop!
Tuck likes his dog treats to be crisp and crunchy. He told me so by spitting one out that was still soft and chewy. He had a total look of disdain on his face, but happily gobbled up the same treat after it was baked longer.
I try to get Tuck’s treats close to an 1/8 of an inch. If your dog prefers chewier treats, you can make them a bit thicker, but if you go too thick they will take forever to bake.
These dog treats will puff up slightly, but they should not spread out. However, don’t crowd them too much, as you will need room to flip them over halfway through the baking time.
For translation purposes that face is asking: “are they done yet? are they done yet? are they done yet?” He followed me around the kitchen for 10 minutes with that face before I shooed him away so that I could clean up. It’s hard to resist that face!
I try to get a full batch ready and put both baking sheets in at the same time. Be sure to rotate the baking sheets when you flip the treats over moving the top pan to the bottom and the bottom to the top.
For crispy, crunchy treats, bake them for 18 – 20 minutes on each side. For softer, chewier treats, bake them 14 – 16 minutes on each side.
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Tuck's Favorite Dog Treats
- 2 1/2 strips of cooked bacon
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 TBSP baking powder
- 2 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour plus more for kneading
- Heat oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix together the egg, peanut butter, pumpkin, and milk.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder.
- Chop up the bacon into bite sized pieces and combine with the flour mixture.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment and gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Add about 1/3 at a time, scraping down the sides and thoroughly combining.
- Place the sticky, wet dough onto a floured work surface.
- Knead the dough, adding flour as you go. Stop adding flour when the dough stop sticking to the counter and to your hands.
- Separate the dough into two sections.
- Shape the first section into a ball and then roll out flat to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Using a knife or cookie cutter, cut out the individual treats and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet, being careful not to over crowd them.
- Once you are done with the first section of dough, repeat with the second section.
- Place both cookie sheets into the oven at the same time, one on top and one on bottom. Cook 14 -16 minutes for softer chewier cookies and 18 - 20 minutes for crisper, crunchier cookies.
- Turn each cookie over and return the pans to the oven, swapping the top pan to the bottom and the bottom to the top, then cook an additional 14 -16 minutes for softer chewier cookies or 18 - 20 minutes for crisper, crunchier cookies.
- When they are done, cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Store up to two weeks in the fridge in an air tight container, or up to 6 months in the freezer.
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